I found an article that was of interest, The 5 Essential Leadership Skills of Virtual Project Management written by Ron Ponce on July 10, 2009. In the article he believed that to ensure project success the virtual project team should incorporate the following five steps: Structure, Communication, Leadership, Trust, and Motivation.
Of course since I enjoy studying communication, as if you cannot tell from my other posts, I am going to focus on the communication piece of the article. I liked the fact that he mentioned to collaborate with all team leads to ensure everyone was on the same page as far as the use of technology goes. The leads should find out what technology is currently available and what technology will be culturally acceptable. There is no point in wasting everyone’s time with trying to push technology onto a team if everyone is just going to reject it and shut down.
He went on to say that the “biggest mistake is assuming folks are on the same page” as it pertains to communication and technology. I have to agree with his statement, just because we are in the “technology age” doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone looks at technology as their BFF. As much as I love technology I also hate it at the same time, sometimes wishing that things would go back to the “old school” ways of doing things.
He also mentioned in the article that communicating virtually can cause problems in teams. Misunderstandings often are the result when information is passed through technology. Ponce made a valid point that all team members should be more “aware of listening or reading” the messages. That changes in “voice inflection, vocabulary, phrasing, and content” can all lead to an issue. I took this as being able to spot warning signs of a possible storm brewing. If the team can spot the warning signs earlier than later than they will be able to come together, address the issue, and resolve it before it escalates into something bigger than it needs to be. Being prepared, knowing what to look for, and reaching out to team members on a consistent basis will make a difference when it comes to surviving and weathering a storm.
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